France adopts law for self-consumption of renewable energy

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The law proposed back in July 2016 provides a legal framework for self-consumption of renewables and will introduce a definition of self-consumption. Flickr: Guillame Paumier

The French parliament has adopted a draft law on self-consumption of electricity from renewable energy sources.

The law proposed back in July 2016 provides a legal framework for self-consumption of renewables and will introduce a definition of self-consumption, as well as collective self-consumption. Grid operators will also be obliged to help facilitate self-consumption.

Richard Loyen, director general of French renewable energy association Enerplan, told PV Tech: “The most important [thing] in the law is the introduction of a new regulation for self-consumption at local level. The self-consumption is not only allowed for individual customers, but also for multi-customers (at the scale of a building and small district – limitation at 100kW).”

The Energy Regulatory Commission will also establish a network usage tariff adapted for self-consumption systems. This tariff will take into account the savings related to reduced use of the network through generating one’s own power. A release from the French Ministry for the Environment, Ecology, Sustainable Development and Sea said that minister Ségolène Royal is particularly keen on this network usage tariff to promote self-consumption.

There will also be a simplification of procedures for small-scale plants that are only under a partial self-consumption model. Tax exemptions will also be given for self-consumed electricity.

The Bill also ratifies an ordinance from August 2016 relating to generation of electricity from renewables. This ordinance removes priority access and priority dispatch of coal-fired electricity facilities. Furthermore, it establishes a priority access and dispatch for renewables in non-interconnected areas, such as the French islands. There are also changes to the tendering process.

Loyen said the law also details guarantees of origin or traceability of renewable electricity; a kind of green certificate scheme.

Finally, the cost of connection to the grid for renewables will be reduced, to prevent this cost from hindering the uptake of projects, especially in remote rural areas. The terms of compensation payments relating to delayed connections for offshore wind farms will also be clarified.

The Ministry said: “The bill will be very quickly enacted so that its provisions for accelerating the energy transition come into effect.”

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